Funeral service for Lemmy of Motörhead to be broadcast live, interest soars

In Internet time, the death of Motörhead leader Lemmy Kilmister is old news. Since Lemmy's death on Dec. 28, Tommy Lee of Motley Crue got stuck inside of his drum kit during a farewell show at the Forum, Axl Rose and Slash announced a reunion of  Guns N’ Roses  and a bunch of weakling, non-Motörhead bands were announced for the Coachella roster.

But Lemmy’s not buried yet, and the late gravelly voiced bassist hasn’t received his formal farewell. That will happen Saturday, when Kilmister will be laid to rest during a service at the Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Motörhead faithful outside the immediate area should stand down, however, and open YouTube instead.

A statement issued by Kilmister's estate on Tuesday offers both a request and an invitation: “With such limited space available on-site, we respectfully ask that you don’t attend the cemetery,” it reads. Instead, Lemmy’s people will broadcast a live feed of the service on Motörhead's official YouTube channel.

In a gesture usually reserved for heads of state, Lemmy’s memorial will be broadcast across the world. The statement also directs fans to celebrate a singular life: “[W]herever you are, PLEASE get together and watch the service with fellow Motörheadbangers and friends. Go to your favorite bar, or your favorite club, make sure they have access to an Internet connection and toast along with us.”

In Los Angeles, many fans will make a pilgrimage to the Rainbow Bar and Grill on the Sunset Strip. Lemmy's longtime hangout, the Rainbow will team with neighboring clubs the Roxy and the Whisky A Go Go to celebrate the bassist's life. The Rainbow will close from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for a private service that evening, but overflow fans will be welcome at neighboring clubs.

Those who prefer to curse the fates and grieve in private, however, won’t be alone. An examination of worldwide Spotify streaming trends confirms that Motörhead's music is rocking the masses now more than ever.

Specifically, a check of Spotify’s worldwide Viral 50 charts illustrates the volume: In Argentina, four Motörhead songs are still charting. In Estonia, “Overkill” is at No. 2. In the U.S., Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades” is getting more spins than the Beatles. Ditto in Mexico, where “Ace” and Motörhead’s version of the Rolling Stones' “Sympathy for the Devil” have landed in the top 20 (as has Hawkwind’s “Silver Machine”). Lithuania, Singapore, Uruguay, Hong Kong, Germany, Switzerland, Norway – all continue to chart Motörhead songs.   

Granted, few ever doubted Motörhead’s worldwide allure. But the breadth and scope is notable, and should make for an overwhelming sendoff on Saturday.

Follow me on Twitter: @liledit


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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

Updated 2 p.m. Jan. 6.

This story was updated with information on a memorial service and celebrations also being held Saturday at the Rainbow Bar & Grill and neighboring clubs along the Sunset Strip.